Hamilton wanted new deal after being “challenged more than ever this year”

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he was eager to extend his deal to race for Mercedes after facing stronger competition for this year’s world championship.

The seven-times champion confirmed today he has signed a new deal which will keep him at Mercedes for the next two seasons. After eight of 23 races, Hamilton lies second in the standings, 18 points behind Max Verstappen.

Hamilton said his desire to continue in the sport came partly from his enjoyment of the competition and also from the work he is doing at Mercedes and within Formula 1 to improve diversity.

“It’s exciting, naturally to be continuing,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans

“I think last year and what you’re seeing now, we’re entering into an interesting phase for me personally because it’s not just the racing it’s what’s coming up, the work that we are doing as a sport in terms of trying to make it more diverse and inclusive space. I’ve been a part of the start of that and I want to continue forwards with that.

“I love working with this team. I feel constantly challenged. I think we’re being challenged more than ever this year which is great. And I love racing.

“This is what I was born to do. I still feel fit, I still feel as committed as ever so I don’t see a reason to stop.”

Last year Hamilton postponed discussions with team principal Toto Wolff on his next contract so late he ended up signing a one-year contract extension which was announced in February. He said his new deal, revealed just five months later, was closely based on the previous contract.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2021
Comment: Even Hamilton’s critics should be pleased he signed for two more years
“It was a lot smoother than it was in December and January,” said Hamilton. “I had a lot on over Christmas and new year, it was a stressful period, and naturally we were doing it over Zoom which is not always the most productive when you’re having these conversations.

“This one was much, much easier. Toto and I have spent a lot more time together, face to face. I had chosen the past contract, the one in January, it was meant to be a two-year deal and I asked for it to be a one-year because I knew that obviously we’d been through a pandemic and there was so much change in the world, and also I was unsure whether I would continue or not.

“I started off the year, had the best and most enjoyable start to the year and enjoyed the rollercoaster ride that we’re having. I think that it was really the best thing to get this done before summer break, which is obviously next month, and so now we can just focus on being the best team we can be.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Hamilton wanted new deal after being “challenged more than ever this year””

  1. A lie. He’s doing it for the winning and adulation.

    1. Well, basically, in LH mind, “racing getting boring cos all other f1 cars are slow, not even close to my merc, is the fastest car, obvioisly!”

      Then, RedBull came as serious rival. LH “Oh, so now RB the 1st team improve their car to be alot faster than my merc, ok i sign new contract and challenge them. I cant be cocky now lol!”

      Reply moderated
  2. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    3rd July 2021, 20:14

    Cynically I think he just wants the eighth world title and go but this year doesn’t look a guarantee of that. A 2 year deal gives him another two shots at it with the new regulations.

  3. Good to see Hamilton is not tired of being kicked in the …
    Now it’s not just Verstappen, it’s Norris, too.
    If Merc hires Russell for 2022, sir Lewis might end up with a big headache :D

  4. He wants a deal because he has no other place to go – at least to a team where he has a chance to win or get consistent podiums.
    Mercedes needs to do the right thing now and bring RUS aboard as he is already better than BOT – it’s not fair to hold him back because it lessens HAM’s chance to win another WDC.

    1. U say this like he needs to continue in F1, when he is already a 7 times world champion. It doesnt matter if he is a 9 times world champion, haters will gonna hate. He wants to continue, so thats good on him.

      Reply moderated
  5. Cristiano Ferreira
    3rd July 2021, 20:46

    It will be nice to see him trounced by Verstappen, Russel (if Mercedes hires him) and Norris for another 2 years.

    1. Last 7 years must’ve been torture for you 😄

      1. @rockgod
        He said no wrong, though.
        He is barely faster than Bottas this year and Verstappen is wiping the floor with him in a pretty equal machine.
        Russell is probably going to be faster than him from the very get go.

        1. @liko41
          “Pretty equal machine”…yeah, sure. Max said his Q3 performance was ‘crap’ and he was still 3 tenths faster than Hamilton.

          1. Yes, it depends on the race, I’m sure in portugal and spain mercedes was the best car, it felt like race pace was superior even in imola and france, in austria so far red bull proved stronger, in fact I have a feeling this qualifying even mclaren had higher potential than mercedes, which is surprising, cause norris beating both merc by 3 tenths is a lot, they should be good enough drivers.

          2. @neutronstar
            That’s because Max is way faster than Lewis, who can barely outqualify Bottas.
            Obviously, his achievements were highly influenced by the sub-par opponents he faced, deal with it.

  6. Why you lying Lewhine
    It even rhymes

  7. Laughable..he’s so so “cynical” in wanting an 8th WDC and being the best ever. Geezo, people eh, wanting to be achievers.
    And no other place to go? Hahaha haha. Who’d have a multiple champion with 15 years experience. Duh..

    1. Yes, absolutely, if raikkonen could fall back to sauber, surely hamilton could find some other place than merc.

  8. I think it’s a smart move to sign early this year. Obviously last year there was some room for negotiation, he was constantly a cut above. But next year he runs the risk of his seat being simply replaced by Russell if he is too demanding, especially with Russell’s form.

    This way Mercedes have to make the tough call to return to two roosters in the hen, or stick to a safe number two that can bring home solid points usually, barring bad luck. Swapping the rooster is no longer an option.

    1. Oh and also, it’s great he still has the fighting spirit. It’s a far cry from his McLaren days when he felt he only had one year or two left in him.

      “This is what I was born to do.” Is a very different statement about his mindset compared to back then.

  9. Lewis, did you really have to do a photo-op of you signing the dotted line with a Loyalty T-shirt on? You’re not a politician, you don’t need to tell us this stuff with fake-deep symbology.

    1. ian dearing
      4th July 2021, 9:38

      Of course he didn’t need to wear it. But given he designs for Hilfiger, a Mercedes sponsor, and the signature Hilfiger Lewis Hamilton Loyalty T shirt has been a major seller for years I’m guessing a lot of free publicity for Hilfiger rather than some fake-deep symbology.

      For some reason this colour is out of stock lately. I wonder who is buying them all?

      https://twitter.com/mercedesamgf1/status/1156918251542208512

  10. I don’t know if I can believe him given recent mercedes honesty level, but IF it’s a honest comment, good thing.

  11. “A lie”
    “He just wants an eighth”
    “He has no place to go”
    “lying Lewhine”
    “fake deep symbology”
    “I don’t know if I can believe him”

    This forum’s descent into the absurd continues unabated. What are commenters smoking?

    1. Yes, bang on Emma. They’re like Sir Lewis trolls. I often wonder what their motivation is to slander our greatest motor-sportsman of all time..
      There’s a lot of hate out there.

      Peace.

    2. Clear and sober unlike a lot of the Kool-Aid -drinkers around here who actually believe he extended his contract because he’s “challenged more than ever this year”. That’s of course opposed to not being as interested in extending if he could just cakewalk it into the history books like previous years.

      Worst part is they don’t even believe it really. It’s just parroting the vainglorious narrative Hamilton is trying to spin like the dutiful fan fanatics they are.

    3. They are smoking a big dose of reality, you should try some.

    4. The first one actually has a point sometimes.
      The second one actually thinks the next few years will be a battleground between Mercedes and Red Bull, and probably McLaren.
      The third one actually thinks that we probably can’t see Lewis going to another team before retiring from the sport, so he’ll probably retire as a Mercedes driver.
      The fourth one – well, he’s a noob.
      The fifth one- fake what? Who’s fake? Any fake impostor here?
      The sixth one even said good thing at the end.

      Okay, I need two on Uphill Ramp and three on Downhill Ramp.

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